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Syria - Life of a Digital Nomad | Work - Travel - Repeat

Syria

Syria

Etymology

The name Syria is derived from the 8th century BC Luwian term “Sura/i”, and the derivative ancient Greek name: Σύριοι, Sýrioi, or Σύροι, Sýroi, both of which originally derived from Aššūrāyu (Assyria) in northern Mesopotamia. However, from the Seleucid Empire (323–150 BC), this term was also applied to The Levant, and from this point the Greeks applied the term without distinction between the Assyrians of Mesopotamia and Arameans of the Levant. Mainstream modern academic opinion strongly favours the argument that the Greek word is related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία, Assyria, ultimately derived from the Akkadian Aššur. In the past, others believed that it was derived from Siryon, the name that the Sidonians gave to Mount Hermon. However, the discovery of the Çineköy inscription in 2000 seems to support the theory that the term Syria derives from Assyria, whose ancient homeland was located in modern northern Iraq. [wikipedia]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

BB Club Syria – Bar in Damascus, Syria. [facebook]

Cinema kindi Domar – Movie Theater in Damascus, Syria. [facebook]

Z Bar – A Rooftop Lounge Bar. [facebook]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

Love Habibi- Syrian Dating – The Web’s favorite place for Syrian dating worldwide. Whether you’re new to this or finding out about LoveHabibi for the first time, signup free today and connect with other people from Syria looking for free online dating and find your very own LoveHabibi. [love habibi]

Syrian Dating – ArabLounge.com is a top destination for finding Syrian dating opportunities. The site offers more than 100,000 Syrian singles who are serious in finding their soul mate. Unlike other Syrian dating sites, ArabLounge.com stands out for many reasons. Profiles are screened regularly and the site is home to the largest Syrian dating community on the Internet. [arab lounge]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Pilgrim Tours – Egypt, Jordan, Syria & Lebanon “First Class” [pilgrim tours]

Walking Tour in Syria, Asia – If you wish to appreciate the wonders of creation, we invite you to join us in a Walking Tour to Syria. You will be fascinated by Syria magnificent scenery, charming beauty, its culture, traditions and historical places. [private-guides]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

The ancient city of Aleppo – A high-profile victim of the civil war, fierce fighting has taken place in the city of Aleppo, much of which has been reduced to rubble. The city contains a massive citadel, which stands on the site of a Hittite acropolis. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most magnificent examples of Islamic military architecture in Syria, but it’s future is decidedly uncertain. [world travel guide]

The ancient city of Damascus – One of the world’s oldest inhabited cities, the Syrian capital has fared much better than other parts of the country during the civil war, but the security situation there is precarious. In more peaceful times, visitors flocked to the city to admire attractions such as Ummayyad Mosque, the 16th-century Tikiyeh Mosque and Al Azem Palace, which houses Islamic art and ancient copies of the Koran. Sadly, it will be a case of seeing what’s left after the civil war. [world travel guide]

The ancient city of Palmyra – Famed for its ancient Byzantine ruins, Palmyra has been plundered of its ancient treasures by IS militants and its temples (most famously that of Baalshamin) have fallen victim of the group’s campaign of iconoclasm. Satellite images suggest much of this ancient city has fallen, but the true extent of the damage will not be known until the end of the war. [world travel guide]

The Crac des Chevaliers – Crac des Chevaliers is the most famous crusader castle in the world and was a stronghold of the Hospitallers during the days of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (1100-1290). The castle, rising from an altitude of 670m (2,200ft), was protected by watchtowers and supplied with food from the surrounding fertile countryside. The castle fared well during previous military campaigns, but is sadly being destroyed during the current conflict. [world travel guide]

The minarets of Mecca – Home to some of the oldest minarets in the world, Bosra has become a battlefield in recent years. The first city in Syria to become Muslim, it was used as a stopover on the pilgrimage route to Mecca and prospered until the 17th century. By then the region, as it is today, was becoming unsafe and the pilgrims began to take a less dangerous route further west. [world travel guide]

The River Orontes in Hama – Situated on the River Orontes, 45km (28 miles) from Homs, Hama has fared better than most in the civil war. Dating back to around 5,000BC, Hams is famed for its norias, gigantic wooden waterwheels, which are still used to provide water for the city and to irrigate the many public gardens. The orchards, the Great Mosque and the Al Azem Palace’s Museum are also of interest. [world travel guide]

The Royal Palace in Mari – Mari’s Royal Palace was built by Zimrilim, the ruler of this important city-state some 2,000 years ago, and boasts 300 rooms and hallways. It was rediscovered in the course of excavations during the 1930s, but has been systematically looted by IS militants. Mari itself was built at a strategic point on the trade routes from the Syrian Arab Republic to Mesopotamia. The town’s oldest ruins date back 5,000 years, but are currently a no go area. [world travel guide]

The seaside town of Latakia – A stronghold for president Assad, Latakia is located on Syria’s Mediterranean coast. Once a major holiday resort, the town stands at the foot of forested mountains overlooking the beach and the edge of the Fertile Plains (also known as the ‘Cradle of Civilisation’). There are a number of antiquities, including the ruined Temple of Bacchus and a triumphal arch. [world travel guide]

The souks of Syria – Before the civil war broke out, visitors came to Syria in their droves and one of the many highlights for sightseers was to explore one of the country’s many souks (markets). Particularly recommended was the one at Aleppo, made up of 16km (10 miles) of meandering low corridors lined with shops and bustling with activity, but that city has been a high-profile casualty of the war. Damascus’ Long Souk was also wonderful. [world travel guide]

The steamy hammams – Though the country is in a mess, parts of Syria try to cling on to some semblance of normal life. One facet of local life is to kick back and relax in one of Syria’s well-preserved hammams (public baths). [world travel guide]

The ‘Pear of the Euphrates’ – Sadly the city of Deir ez Zor, once known as the ‘Pearl of the Euphrates,’ has been the scene of fierce fighting during the civil war. Neighbourhoods have been reduced to rubble and much of the population has been displaced. Located on the bank of the Euphrates, the city was revered for its manicured gardens and orchards, which contrasted beautifully with the golden desert hues and the silver thread of the river. [world travel guide]

Festivals

Festivals

Arabic Book Fair – Held in Damascus every September, the Arabic Book fair is newly incepted but has proved to be quite popular. The fair’s main aim is to promote Arabic literature and showcase local writers, both established and up-and-coming. Many international authors are also showcased in this event. The festival includes many events including book launches, signings, and discussions with the authors. [iexplore]

Cotton Festival – Every year in July, Aleppo shows the rest of the country just what it has to offer. The region produces almost all of Syria’s cotton exports and during the annual Cotton Festival, factories open their doors to boast their wares and their skills. Locals from all over the country attend the event, not only to learn new and valuable skills but also to buy 100 percent cotton goods at a fraction of the usual price. [iexplore]

Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) – Another Islamic holiday, this time held in October, is the Feast of the sacrifice. An important in Islamic country’s world wide, this festival lasts for two-to-three days and commemorates the decision of Ibrahim to sacrifice his first-born son to God. Locals slaughter a sheep to this effect and together, as families and friends, hold great feasts all over the region. [iexplore]

Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan) – Followers of the Islamic faith make up 87 percent of the Syrian population which means that Islamic holidays in the country are a big deal. One of the most well known events is Eid al-Fitr which takes place in August every year. Eid marks the end of the month of fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. The event is characterized by family and friends gathering for a great feast, the exchanging of gifts, the wearing of new clothes and of course, attending mosque. [iexplore]

Independence Day – Kicking off the Syrian events calendar in April is the National Independence day. Traditionally this day is marked with great displays of national unity and pride. Parades are held in most of the major city centers, locals fly the Syrian flag on high and national songs can be heard coming from homes and local stores around the country. Since the outbreak of the civil war, however, all festivities seem to have cooled down considerably. [iexplore]

Silk Road Festival – Also in September is the Silk Road Festival, an interesting event which aims to celebrate and commemorate the diversity and unity of Syria’s many nationalities. The capital city, Damascus is taken on a journey into the past and transformed into what it once looked like when it was a meeting place for Silk Road caverns. The festival also reaches other cities which are bathed in vibrant colors and host many cultural activities. [iexplore]

Public Transit

Public Transit

Bus – Services run from Damascus and Aleppo to most towns countrywide and are cheap, efficient and comfortable. There are orange-and-white air-conditioned government-operated buses as well as privately-run services. Reservations should be made well in advance for all journeys. There are privately-run bus and microbus services which can be found in all major towns and cities. [hotel travel]

Car – While there are a number of well-maintained roads throughout the country, traffic regulations are poor and this results in a number of serious accidents. Second-class roads are not maintained and can be extremely hazardous during the wet season. The principal route from Aleppo to Damascus and Dar’a (north–south) is a good road, but it is vital to always stay alert and watch out for drivers who dangerously overtake and speed. [hotel travel]

Rail – The railway network in Syria is extensive and includes routes between Damascus, Aleppo, Deirez, Zar, Hassakeh and Kamechli. A second line runs between Aleppo, Latakia, Banias, Tartous, Hom, Damascus and Deraa. Domestic services are reliable and a good way to travel around the country if you want to see the sights. First-class carriages are air conditioned and very comfortable. [hotel travel]

Taxi – Shared taxis are available to all parts of the country, while metered cabs are available in major cities such as Damascus and Aleppo. Private taxis, which are old limousines, service major routes, but they cost a lot more than buses and shared taxis. [hotel travel]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

SPAN- Syrian Professionals Active Network – Seeking to find a suitable environment for the exchange of expertise and professional consulting as well as developing Syrian & Arab skills periodically. [facebook]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Your Expat Community in Syria – As-salām ‘alaykum and a warm welcome to InterNations Syria! We aim to help make your relocation go smoothly by enabling you to communicate with expats already living in Syria. Here, you can ask questions on any topic relating to your move, from navigating through the sometimes daunting paperwork to settling into the expat community. Our InterNations community has members from all countries living in some 390 global locations, who can answer all your questions about your new home. [internations]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Resources

Resources

Places in Syria

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